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Subscribe to RSS feed for News Luke Donald is happy to shoulder the expectations on both sides of the Atlantic. (Photo: Getty Images)
Luke Donald is happy to shoulder the expectations on both sides of the Atlantic. (Photo: Getty Images)

From Chicago to England, all eyes are glued on Donald

Rising star Luke Donald is a popular pick to be the first European to win a major since 1999. He's put himself in an excellent position to contend this weekend, he revealed, after changing his outlook in the wake of Heather Clarke's death.

MEDINAH, Ill. (PA) -- For some time now, Luke Donald of England has been many people's pick to be the player who ends Europe's long wait for a major champion. They could be proved right on Sunday.

The 28-year-old world No. 11 goes into the third round of the PGA Championship on Saturday sharing the lead with Swede Henrik Stenson and Americans Billy Andrade and Tim Herron.

Donald has based himself in Chicago since his student days at Northwestern University, where he won the NCAA Championship, and knows Medinah Country Club well. It showed as he birdied three of the first five holes and then kept a bogey off his card until picking up another shot thanks to a pitch to six feet on the 15th.

One behind and still the favorite, though, is Tiger Woods. But Donald now has a chance to put into practice what he said earlier this season.

"Tiger's absolutely the No. 1 player in the world right now, but I think the only way for me to catch him is to start believing I'm as good as him," he said. "If I don't believe that, then I'm not going to be as good as him."

In the first three majors of the year, Donald thinks he has been guilty of trying too hard, but the death of Darren Clarke's wife Heather on Sunday brought a change of outlook.

"Things like that put things into perspective," said Donald, who as a mark of respect was dressed all in black for Thursday's opening round.

"You've got to take everything [in golf] with a pinch of salt," he said. "I was determined this week to dismiss bad shots -- it didn't really matter. There are more important things.

"I think in previous majors I've been getting a little bit ahead of myself," he added. "I've got to the stage in my career where I feel like I should be having a chance to win, but I've been coming in expecting to play well and putting a little too much pressure on myself.

"I've just not been hitting the shots when I needed to hit the shots."

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